Posts Tagged ‘writers’
Rebecca Swift hosted an up-front Q and A with WriteWords about the role of literary consultancies. WriteWords is an online resource for writers which offers an interesting community for writers, jobs and news.
Below is an excerpt from the Q and A where Rebecca Swift answers a question about TLC readers.
“We stipulate that a reader must have either worked in commercial publishing as an editor, taught creative writing to MA level, and/or be a professionally published writer themselves. We will occasionally make exceptions for readers that come highly recommended and may have had slightly different trajectories (as reviewers, for example, or teachers in literary settings but not on MAs) but usually these qualifications would be those we would require. I always think ‘who would I want to read my work?’ and think in terms of employing people I myself would trust. Also of course we need to inspire confidence in our clients that we are offering help that has been tried and tested over time.
I should also say that having the qualifications in themselves are not the only important thing, because we do not use readers who don’t have sufficient empathy and diplomacy, as well as powers of articulation when writing back to people at any level of ability. This can be a tricky job as you can imagine, to say the least and I admire our readers hugely for what they take on. In addition, readers have to understand commercial markets to some degree, although the in-house team are the market experts. They have to be good talent spotters on top of everything else … In short, it’s a tall order letting a reader loose on the public and we try to protect that public as far as we can although of course no consultancy can be perfect, we do try! We could not understand better how precious people’s written work is, and how hope and fear will be bound up in that.”
Click here to read the rest of the interview.
Robert McCrum writes “People often talk about the future of the book; strangely, no one in the UK has recently thought to examine the prospects for the book industry in public. So the Free Word Centre’s debate on the future of publishing was a first, and very interesting it was, too.”
TLC’s September 28th Big Publishing Debate was reported in the Guardian by McCrum, who hosted the panel discussion for our event. The panel included Faber’s Stephen Page and Canongate’s Dan Franklin), a self-styled techno-geek from the BBC (Bill Thompson), and a very senior Google person (Santiago de la Mora).
Click here for McCrum’s full article in the Guardian and find out more about how writers and publishers are adjusting to the new electronic age.
How is the revolution in new technology changing the commercial publishing industry?
TLC’s final event for the Flow Festival on 28th September was a cutting-edge publishing debate, chaired by Robert McCrum, associate editor of The Observer. We engaged Santiago de la Mora, Head of Print Partnerships for Europe Google, alongside Dan Franklin, Head of Digital at Canongate Publishers and Bill Thompson, technology writer and digital guru.
In this urgent debate, the panel attempted to demystify the relationship between the internet and publishing, and asked if the brave new world of free content would decimate print industries and threaten the livelihoods of emerging and established writers. The audience was full of well informed writers and agents, such as Claire Alexander and Caroline Dawnay, who helped to create a lively and fascinting Q & A at the end.
As part of the Flow Festival at Free Word, the Literary Consultancy offered an exploration of what great writing means and what kinds of challenges writers face when constructing their stories.
Professor Brenda Cooper, editor, writer and mentor, along with Rebecca Swift, the director of TLC, offered a unique class, designed for those who want to set themselves some serious challenges as writers. This three-hour workshop offered the chance to explore the principles behind the writing of figures such as Orhan Pamuk, Doris Lessing, Jeanette Winterson and Margaret Atwood and gave the participants the chance to apply those principles to their own writing. Tea and cakes baked by the TLC Administrative team were provided to aid inspiration.
If you’ve just finished that last sentence of your first book and are wondering about the next step to take, TLC recommends the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. This comprehensive guide provides information and advice about how to submit your manuscript and how the publishing industry works.
For over 100 years the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook has existed to help writers make it into print and to develop their career, and give artists advice on how to exhibit or publish work.
Quote from the Writers & Artists website
For more information about the handbook, see the video below with Jo Herbert, Editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, published by A&C Black
Journalist Liz Bury investigates the growing popularity of self-publishing
The London Book Fair
Did you know that Apple has just made it easier to self-publish to the iBook store? The August 2010 upgrade of Pages, Apple’s answer to Microsoft Word, makes it possible to export an ordinary text document to ePub format. Create an ePub file, upload to the iBook store and bingo, you just self-published your novel.
It’s a simple piece of development by Apple, and a great example of one of the many small technological advances that are fueling a boom in self-publishing.
The Literary Consultancy(TLC), an ms assessment service for writers, now considers self-publishing a legitimate option for many of its clients.
Rebecca Swift, TLC founder, says: “It used to be that an author either made the grade or they didn’t. One would tell people not to spend their money on vanity publishing. That was the moral position. It’s a much more complex world now – and much more exciting for writers.”
Just click on the London Book Fair to read the entire article.
This year was TLC’s third visit to the beautiful Port Eliot festival, which welcomes the writing and artistic community to the grand estate of the Earl and Countess of St Germans.
TLC readers held two days of one-to-one sessions with writers of all levels who had brought along a short sample of their writing to the festival. A good place for writers to roam around, seeing how it’s crawling with the likes of Hari Kunzru, among others. The sessions were held in the beautiful ’round room’ in the castle and our three readers met with writers and discussed their work.
After two busy days of assessing writing, our readers also took the winning place at Port Eliot Literary Quiz!
How do writers orientate themselves in this changing landscape? Is the democracy of online publication eroding editorial standards? Is quality publishing financially viable in this environment?
In association with Spread the Word, TLC presented Tapping the Trend 13 September, a debate at the Free Word centre which aimed to highlight new issues for writers and publishers.
Prize winning author and leading writer in digital media Kate Pullinger, and writers commissioned by Spread the Word, demonstrated and discussed how they used the internet to produce new work and how it has transformed their creative practice. Claire Armitstead, Guardian’s Literary Editor, lead the debate on these questions with commentator Ian Jack, Sara Lloyd Digital Director at Pan Macmillan, writer Kate Pullinger and Jason Pegler from Chipmunka Publishing.
The internet and digital technology are transforming – some would say decimating – traditional publishing, whilst online arenas offer writers new ways of creating literature and new routes for reaching audiences. Conversely, digital media and online platforms are enabling writers to produce some of the most exciting developments in literary form and creative collaborations.
TLC aims to keep writers up to date with the rapidly changing publishing scene through discussions with top industry specialists. Sign up for our newsletter for more information about upcoming events and resources available on our website.
In the early days of TLC, Rebecca Swift wrote an article in The Independent about writers groups and whether they were an effective forge for interesting new work, or simply a new form of therapy for unpublished writers. Read on to find out what she discovered.
“The notion of creative writing in a group setting has been held in deep suspicion, ridiculed by “real” writers as an activity for deluded, talentless people, an embarrassment to those who strive to produce glittering works painstakingly and in solitude. Michele Roberts attributes this “mystique” about literature to the fact that, until relatively recently, writing was thought of as the domain of the gentleman-with-means: “The solitary genius in the garret is a male myth, as he would undoubtedly have been supported by several unacknowledged women who cooked and ironed.” Distrust of groups, she thinks, might also stem from the fact “that a band of women can just start up in the suburbs and learn how to make a book: it’s one in the eye for professionalism.”
I shared all these negative attitudes when I was first approached in the corridors of the publishing company where I worked, and invited to join a writers’ group. While something in me lurched longingly towards the possibility of community and discipline, a larger part shuddered with distaste. Was it my university-EngLit background? Was I an embodiment in modern form of the “gentleman-with-means” elitism? I had in mind writers like Doris Lessing and Iris Murdoch. They had done it alone; surely any writer worth her salt would also be able to? Yet, when I looked for it, cynicism was far harder to find than I had imagined”.
Click here to read the entire article.